Hi everyone, in my neck of the woods, the best uplink i can get is 4G LTE. Aparently, the last mile was wired with aluminum in these parts, so you can imagine how great xDSL is. And there is no fibre, of course.
I do quite a lot of self-hosting (on another device currently, doesn't need to be on the OpenWRT device, although it could be i suppose), and I have places i can create Wireguard tunnels to, so i'm not too worried regarding fixed IP addresses.
So i'm looking for a device that does the following:
- 4G uplink
ideally built-in SIM slot with proper antennas. I could be wrong, but i understand i'll get more out of my uplink than with a USB modem.
- Gigabit switch, or at least LAN port.
I can do with a single LAN port and a managed switch, but a built-in Gigabit switch would make things a bit easier
- VLAN support (not sure if this is universal now or not)
- Wifi AP built-in
I have an old Ubiquiti UAP-AC (the square ones), but it looks like i can't put OpenWRT on it and i also don't have the right PoE adapter (funny, i have one from a UAP-LR but that's 24v, and the UAP-AC is 48v, thanks Ubiquiti).
I'd initially hoped for something around 100-150 EUR, but looking at the various options, i'd be ok with up to 300 EUR now i think
Here are the candidates I've considered so far:
- Turris Omnia (v2) (~300 EUR)
- TP-Link Archer MR-600 (~ 130 EUR), or possibly lower version
- Engines APU3c2 System Board with 2GB RAM (~160 EUR, without the wifi and 4G cards, from what i see)
- GL-iNet: Converta-B or S + a 4G LTE USB modem?
- Raspberry Pi 4 + LTE HAT: semeed interesting until the HAT turned out to be only available for about 300 GBP. Yikes.
Are there any good Microtik options? I've seen one but i know very little about Microtik and i got a bit swamped when i started looking at their range i must say.
Any advice is very welcome. I must say, i was pretty sure i'd find a GL-iNet device that would be perfect, but no… or maybe their GL-B2200 but that's "coming soon".
Thanks everyone and sorry for the lengthy post!
I suggest the APU3. Rock solid no problem akso to use it with hdd attached, as fileserver. Modem quectel ec25-EU.
Budget: MT7621-based device (~50-60 EUR) + Huawei E3372h (~25 EUR) in NCM mode
Midrange: IPQ40XX-based (VLAN 1-2 are not available) (~70-100 EUR) + Huawei E3372h (~25 EUR) in NCM mode
Hi-End: RK3399 SBC such as RockPro64 (no OpenWrt support however) + AP (use your old Ubiquiti one) + Huawei "desktop" modem (used) which you can put in bridge mode such as Huawei E5186s-22a although be sure to make your homework as there are multiple models and some might be locked down and not flashable. Another option would be getting a WRT1900ACS/WRT3200ACM/WRT32X (used/refurbished) which are very solid devices although wifi can be a bit lacking. Reasonable price would be somewhere around 70-120 EUR.
This might also be of interest if you like thinkering https://kobol.io/ however it's pre-order.
I would however recommend you to grab a ARMv7 or better device instead of MIPS these days but if you're just want something cheap or planning to use it just as an AP they're still decent. In case you're wondering you're unlikely to max out any platforn if you're on LTE so in terms of basic firewalling and routing performance you'll be fine.
Thank you very much for your replies folks, sorry for the very slow reply.
I think i'd rather have a single device, so right now i'm really hesitating between the APU3 and the Turris Omnia.
Any opinions on the Turris Omnia? (I'll have a further look on the forum about this device too, as soon as i get a moment.)
Trying to look more at some Microtik stuff, to make sure i wasn't missing out on something, i came upon the Audience, but as far as i can tell, there's no OpenWrt build for it (yet?).
In any case, thanks again for the advice, it's appreciated
iirc, solidrun may have something.
Thanks for the idea @anomeome. I had a look at their website but didn't find anything really.
I was starting reconsidering seriously the Turris Omnia, but after reading more comments, i'm not convinced. Multiple people complaining about poor wifi, poor quality control of the boxes, some problems with automated updates. Add to that the fact that yes, it has a SIM card slot, but actually no LTE modem, so you have to add that to the total cost. And then probably an antenna too if you want to get good reception. It starts getting expensive quite fast.
I was also looking some more at the PCEngines APU3 boards. Similarly, by the time you add everything you need (board + PSU + wifi card + LTE card + enclosure), it gets quite expensive (+350 GBP on one site). Furthermore, and i'm not sure how much this really matters, but these boards are based around an AMD Geode CPU, for which discontinued all support in 2019.
Microtik has two options that look close to what i want initially: the Audience (mentioned above) and the Chateau. But i'm really not very happy at the idea of using RouterOS (which i've never used) and not using OpenWRT. I see no sign of these devices being planned for support by OpenWRT (a search on this forum returns nothing for these two devices).
I'm really considering (and warming up to) @diizzy's recommendations, especially regarding the CPU (ARMv7 or better) and using an external device for the 4G-to-Ethernet conversion.
I didn't see it at first, but they do. The "ClearFog" SBCs look very interesting:
Description mentions support for OpenWRT (which is confirmed by the wiki), it's gigabit, the pro version has a built-in switch, it's pretty extensible with the mikroBUS stuff… you still need to add a mPCIe LTE modem, so it's a bit pricey, but still, looks like one of the best options i've seen so far.
edit: having done the math, with shipping and all, a ClearFog pro with a Quectel EP06-E comes out at 340 GBP. Ouch. The ClearFog base + Quectel EP06-E is "only" 240 GBP. Definitely a pricey option, compared to say a Huawei E5186s-22a + Glinet Convexa B, which comes out at 195 GBP.
Go for the RaspberryPi4. It is working with a snapshot version, has plenty of cpu and ram, has a lot of support and gadgets.
I got mine with 4GB ram (overkill, I know) with a metallic case-heatsink for 77€.
e3372h huawei LTE dongle works fine.
You only need either a managed switch with vlans (like I do) or a usb2ethernet adapter.
It also has very poor support due to lack of documentation...
Allwinner H3/H5/H6 or RK3328/RK3399 are much better options in that regard.
Thanks @AndrewZ! I kept wondering if i'd missed an obvious Mikrotik option, and at ~50 GBP, the RBM33G was clearly the option i'd missed.
I've now got one sitting on my shelf and a Quectel EP06-E on its way. So thanks again for the recommendations.
I'm unfortunately not having any luck powering my UAP-PRO AC (the old, 1st gen ubiquiti AP) which requires PoE+ (802.3at, the 48V, less common PoE). And LinITX, where i got the RBM33G from are completely out of any 48V PoE injectors.
Considering just slapping a wifi mPCIe card in the M33G and being done with it. Any recommendations?
Also, regarding 4G / LTE in general, is an external antenna like the mANT LTE 5o from Mikrotik worth it?